Raised in Detroit with a father who was on the Motown label (Eddie Guzman of Rare Earth), Marissa had quite the artistic upbringing. Having her Dad constantly on the road touring with the band was difficult, but the excitement that goes along with a father who is a well-known musician deeply inspired her. Especially as a little girl while at concerts with thousands of screaming fans, the members of Rare Earth would call their kids on stage to help them sing their biggest hit, “I Just Want To Celebrate,” and Marissa knew then that she wanted to pursue singing.
With a strong passion for writing, Marissa majored in Journalism and landed her first job in advertising, devoting her life to Ford Motor Company. With such a demanding career, she had little time for her true passion: music, but in her free time she still managed to develop a huge appreciation for Detroit’s infamous underground electronic music, and started writing vocals over instrumental house tracks. She became friends with the legendary Detroit techno pioneer, Derrick May, who convinced her to start her own label to get her music out there, which he helped her do in 2007. Marissa’s Mom, Barbara named it Juicy Lucy Records.
Around this time she decided to move to San Francisco, and after a spiritual retreat in late 2009, Marissa had a revelation to quit her job in marketing to learn how to produce, and work on her first album. In the spring of 2011, the first single, “Time To Go” was proof to the world that she made the right decision. Black Coffee’s remix went straight to #1 on Traxsource after being available for less than a week, and it gave Marissa instant exposure internationally, setting the stage for a bright future.
A few months later, on 11-11-11, Marissa released her debut album, Joy Road.
As she feels very strongly about the importance of using music as a platform to help those less fortunate, Marissa graciously donated 50% of her album sales to NextAid, a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization that harnesses the power of music to support sustainable development projects that serve vulnerable children, youth and women in Africa.
Guzman notes, “I am hoping to spread awareness through my music and make a positive impact in Africa. While we here in the US are trying to get a fair shake for our 99%, in Africa, the global income distribution is even more skewed with hundreds of millions of people living on less than $1 a day.”
March 2012 was a very exciting month for Marissa. “Time To Go” was nominated for Remix of the Year at the SAMAs (South Africa’s version of the GRAMMYs). It was also the month that she debuted her DJ skills at WMC, with over 10 gigs in 5 days!
Also in spring 2012, the Joy Road Remix album was released with remixes from Kerri Chandler, Black Coffee, Mr. V, Liquideep, Demarkus Lewis, Paul Randolph, Corduroy Mavericks, Doc Link, Hallex.M, and many more, and after being available only one week, it went straight to the #2 slot in the Top 100 Albums on Traxsource.
Marissa has also started working with more producers in South Africa since her sudden success there, and two of her releases “Lovelight” with Mphoza and “Come Together” with JET were both #1 on YFM radio in the same month! Marissa plans on having an extended stay there in the coming months to start working with Soul Candi Records on album number two.
Stay tuned! The future is looking bright for this multi-talented songbird.